Statement by Napoleon I

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Copy of a précis of a statement by Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, made before the Russian ambassador to Paris, Prince Alexander Borisovitch Kurakin, on 15 Aug 1811, ostensibly proposing a basis for negotiations with Alexander I, Emperor of Russia. The document refers to the battle of Rudchek between the Turks and Russians, troops in Danzig, Warsaw and Poland, the size of French armies and Russia's violation of the Tilsit agreements. The source of the copy was a dispatch of the Austrian ambassador to Paris, Karl-Philip von Schwarzenberg.

Administrative / Biographical History

By 1811, relations between Russia and France were deteriorating. In 1805, Alexander I, Tsar of Russia, had joined the coalition against Napoleon I. Defeats at Austerlitz and Friedland, however, led to a Russian-French Alliance agreed by the Treaty of Tilsot in 1807. Relations were soured by Alexander's liberal interpretation of Napoleon's Continental System, Russian fears concerning the possible unification of Poland, and quarrels over the independence of Prussia which led to French troops close to the Russian border. In 1811, Napoleon broke the Treaty of Tilsot by annexing Oldenburg, and the alliance was broken. Napoleon invaded Russia the next year, but was defeated. For a reconstruction of this interview, see A.Vandal, Napoleon et Alexandre I (Paris, 1896), vol.III, c.6, and vol.III, p.212 n.1 for the sources on which he bases his account.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Uncatalogued material may not be seen. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Acquisition Information

The volume was given to the University of London Library in May 1942 by R. Quinault.

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

The 3 leaves measure 295 x 186mm; 306 x 198mm; and 77 x 189mm.

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Custodial History

Enclosed in an annotated copy of Charles de Martens' Manuel diplomatique (Paris, 1822), which has pasted into it a slip bearing the name of Alleyne FitzHerbert, Baron St Helens (1753-1839), and includes a transcript, possibly in his hand.

Related Material

University of London MS 832 is bound in the same volume.